Chile: Economic activity picks up in May
July 5, 2011
In May, economic activity expanded 7.3% over the same month last year, according to the monthly indicator for economic activity (IMACEC, Indicador Mensual de Actividad Economica). The reading came in above both the 6.3% increase registered in April and market expectations of economic activity growing 6.8%. The Central Bank also noted that May had two more business days than the same month last year, adding approximately 1.2 percentage points to the May print. According to the Central Bank, the May increase mainly reflected strong growth in the manufacturing sector, next to buoyant activity in the retail and transportation sectors. A month-on-month comparison corroborates the acceleration suggested by the annual figures, as economic activity rose 0.43% over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms following the 0.33% increase in April. In spite of the robust expansion in May, annual average growth inched down from 7.3% in April to 7.2%, a break in the upward trend in place since November 2009, which was only previously interrupted in March 2010. In its quarterly Monetary Policy Report from June, the Central Bank raised its economic growth forecast to range between 6.0% and 7.0% this year.